Clear the guttering both before and after the colder months. Guttering can become blocked by leaves and moss throughout the year, stopping water from flowing freely and causing it to pool in the gutter. If this is not cleared out by winter, the water in the gutter can freeze, expand and then split the guttering. By clearing the guttering, this can be avoided.
Check roof tiles regularly. Roof tiles stop your house from becoming saturated with rain. Just one cracked or missing tile can lead to issues with damp and rot. To avoid this, check the roof occasionally to see if there are any tiles that need replacing. If heights are not your thing, you could ask a local roofing contractor to look for you. Alternatively, occasional checks from inside your attic can locate any areas affected by water.
Protect timber. If you have timber window and/or door frames, protect these against the rain with a good layer of paint. Paint stops the moisture from getting into the wood preventing rot. If you notice that the paint is blistering then it’s probably time for another coat.
Check electrical appliances. Electrical surges are rare but can damage electrical appliances. When you leave your home unoccupied long time it’s a good idea to unplug your electrical goods. This saves energy too.
Have the chimney swept regularly. Open fires and log burners are fantastic for creating a cosy atmosphere but after being used all winter the build up of soot in the chimney can prevent the smoke from being drawn out from the fire properly. A blocked chimney may cause smoke to drift back into the house which can be unpleasant and more worryingly, increases the risk of a chimney fire. Having the chimney swept just once a year keeps it working as it should and dramatically reduces the risk of a chimney fire from starting.
Maintain plants and trees in your property. If you have a climbing plant, avoid types that can damage the exterior of the property such as ivy. Climbing plants must never grow above the eaves as they can cause problems with roof timbers and damage the guttering. Rotten or weak tree limbs should be removed as soon as you notice them. In a storm these limbs will be the first to be ripped off and could be collide into your home. Tree and plant roots can often play a role in causing a property to subside. Research the plants and trees that you have within a close proximity to your property to see if their roots could cause any problems.
Keep your home secure. When leaving your home or second home for a long period of time it’s important to leave the property secure. Use all bolts, catches and locks you have on windows and doors as well as double locking the door as you leave. An alarm system will certainly help to deter intruders and even an empty alarm casing displayed in a prominent place can act as an effective deterrent. Remove valuable items from your home or make sure they are securely locked away.
One of the most common causes for claims in the last couple of years has been burst pipes. With past winters having been far colder than we are used to, many people have been caught off guard and their property suffered because of it. Lagging your pipes and insulating your roof can prevent them from bursting. During the winter months, Intasure do ask that if your property is unoccupied for more than two days, between December and February, that you turn off the water and run the taps to drain the system or keep the heating on and above 15 degrees C. During this time, keep the loft hatch open to allow the air to circulate protecting the pipes in the loft.
When a property is left unattended, it can be a worry but taking these steps can ease some of those concerns and avoid any insurance claims.
Intasure is an insurance provider that specialises in providing comprehensive and flexible cover, against all eventualities, for holiday homes in the UK and overseas.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority and with years of experience, every Intasure policy is underwritten by Lloyds of London and other international insurers and offers a host of benefits. One of the key advantages is the UK-based English speaking team that resolves any problems that may arise. In addition, all policy documentation is written in English - so you know exactly what you are getting.
Wider cover for your protection
Intasure’s cost effective policies provide far wider cover than most standard European policies. They also cover your specific property, unlike Local Community Insurance which can be deceptive. Add £5 million worth of essential public liability cover, which is important for anyone who lets their property, and you have truly comprehensive cover at a very competitive price.
Cover Available For:
UK residents and expatriates with holiday homes in: The UK, Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Croatia,Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Morocco, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Republic of Ireland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, (including Dubai) with more being added.
Visit Intasure to complete their quotation form
Alternatively, you can call Intasure on 0845 111 0680 (quoting 202855) for immediate cover
Up to 40% risk related discount is available on overseas and UK holiday home insurance.